Got a Sty? Here’s What To Do

  • Posted on: Jul 15 2020
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Styes can be worrisome when they show up. But in most cases, they go away on their own. Here are some ways to speed up the healing process and what to look for in case it doesn’t seem to be healing on its own.

First things first, what is a sty? A sty (hordeolum) is a red bump that forms on the outside edge of your eyelid. Because your eyelids have tons of tiny oil glands, especially around your eyelashes, it can be easy for these glands to get blocked. When the glands get blocked by dead skin, dirt, or oil buildup, bacteria then grow inside causing a sty to form.

Symptoms of a sty are:

  • Pain and swelling
  • Increased tear production
  • A crust that forms around the eyelid
  • Soreness and itchiness

If you think you have a sty, here are some ways to speed up the healing process on your own:

  1. Keep it clean

Make sure the area is clean using mild soap and water. Find a tear-free baby shampoo and mix it with some warm water. Using a cotton swab or clean washcloth, gently dab your eyelids. Do this every day until the sty is gone. You can also try using a saline solution which helps by breaking down bacterial membranes to encourage drainage.

  1. Take over-the-counter pain medication

If the sty is painful, take ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) to help ease the pain. Follow the directions on the packaging for correct dosage information. If the sty is causing serious pain, call your doctor.

  1. Avoid using makeup and wearing contact lenses

It’s important to keep the sty clean so it’s best to avoid wearing makeup or contact lenses if you have a sty. Makeup can be irritating to the eyes and have an increased risk of transferring bacteria via brushes or other tools.

Speaking of brushes, make sure you’re washing your brushes often. Also, throw away any products that are old or expired.

If you’re typically a contact lens wearer, stick with glasses until the sty heals. Bacteria from the sty can get into your eyes and spread the infection.

We hope your sty goes away quickly! If it doesn’t however, or if the sty is on the inside of your eye, it may be time to see a doctor. If you have any questions or concerns about your eyes, we’d love to help! Schedule an appointment at our Chardon office by calling (440) 286-1188 or our Mentor office at (440) 205-5840.

Posted in: Eye Conditions


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